FREE WHITEWATER

Charity and Mercy

The Recent Cold

It’s been unseasonably cold in southeastern Wisconsin this week, and in Whitewater that presents a challenge for the disproportionately large number of impoverished residents (some of whom occasionally lack utilities, even at the most unfavorable times). The three large public institutions in the city – municipal government, school district, and public university – have collectively dozens…

Political and Apolitical Means of Local Accomplishment

One test of an institution’s vitality is how eager people are to become members, and how interested a community is to learn who’s become a member. Strong institutions or organizations attract attention. When the institution is a city or county government, one looks to see who’s eager to run for office, and how many people…

The Broad Outlines of 2019

For many years, I would begin the year with predictions for the twelve months ahead.  Events since 2016 have made predictions harder,  but one can still discern some short-term developments for the city.  These prospects, of course, form an online of topics to ponder, and about which to write (often requiring that one return to the…

The Assault on Asylum Seekers

This federal administration, despite a leader who receives support from some conservative religious groups, acts against generations of legal, philosophical, and religious principles when it uses force against unarmed asylum seekers. Father James Martin writes Stop the assault on asylum seekers: Yesterday the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency fired tear gas at migrants trying to seek…

Reading and Reviewing

There are two books I’m eager to review here at FW: Katherine Cramer’s Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker (2016) and Amy Goldstein’s Janesville: An American Story (4.18.17).  Like many others, I’ve been awaiting Goldstein’s book for some time, knowing that significant works take time. For both books,…

More on the Right Social Conditions in a Small Town

I posted yesterday that Gentrification Requires the Right Social Conditions, contending in part that a small city like Whitewater remains divided (and by consequence limits its own attractiveness to newcomers) because it remains divided by town and gown (and divided within the town, itself, too). Whitewater’s problem is not that different factions do not have a…

Gentrification Requires the Right Social Conditions

I’ve written that Whitewater faces a choice between decisive action now (to lessen government’s role) or years of stagnation and relative decline before eventual gentrification (at which point longtime residents will have almost no say in redevelopment). See, How Big Averts Bad. As I doubt Whitewater’s local political class has the will for near-term changes, the best…

An Oasis Strategy

There’s a wide difference between believing that we’ve difficult national or local times ahead and losing confidence. I’m as confident today as ever that Whitewater has a bright long-term future. There’s simply hard work ahead between now and then, and more hard work now than we might have hoped (national trends being what they are). What to do?…

About Standards

I’ve long argued that the application of continent-wide standards to local challenges offers better solutions for our small town than a hyper-localism that ignores best practices from across our country. See, What Standards for Whitewater? We will achieve little, and leave less for the next generation, if we do less – if we reach lower –…

Sunday Animation: We Need to Talk About Alice

GOOD BOOKS: “We Need To Talk About Alice” from Plenty on Vimeo. (See all the process, character design, style frames, at plenty.tv/work/good-books-we-need-to-talk-about-alice ) “We need to talk about Alice” was commissioned by New Zealand based agency String Theory and created to be part of Good Books’ “Great Writers Series,” a collection of short films made…